West of Dalabrog
On the day I returned they were burning the heather.
Silhouettes of ancient rituals lit-up the skyline
and bitter winds carried the earthy smell of smoke.
I could taste the salty breath of sea,
the rhythm of the waves forcing my body forward.
That sense of happiness still remained.
I am older.
The beach, as it was is invisible to me now.
A ghostly coastline where no boats survive,
childish play all but gone.
I saw my reflection crash into the contours of the rocks.
A little death in the half-light of the distance.
I watched as it pushed me out from the wilderness of my Mother’s bones,
Out beyond the dunes and where the Lapwings’ call,
Out to where I can begin again.
Biography – Susannah Ramsay
Susannah is (2017) artist in residence for RSPB Scotland, Loch Lomond. Susannah is also an AHRC and SGSAH (Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities) funded PhD researcher and artist filmmaker in the department of Communications, Media and Culture at Stirling University, Scotland. Her practice-based research, Experiencing the Filmpoem. A Phenomenological Exploration, argues that phenomenology, both as a philosophy and film theory can undergird our understanding of the filmpoem, a unique composition of artists’ moving image. Through the production and exhibition of her own filmpoetry, her work aims to explore how this medium can provide a sensorial embodied experience within either a site-specific gallery space or a traditional screening context. Susannah’s practice concerns the tradition of filming in close proximity to nature and explores how we can emotionally and philosophically connect to the landscape. As part of her RSPB artist residency she is creating an outdoor audiovisual installation, to be screened in the landscape of Loch Lomond nature reserve.